Faith

M4D Bear Facts of Faith – Jehovah Shalom

The “B” of the BEAR Facts of Faith

B – Believing The Word – Believing Comes Before Seeing

Bear Facts of FaithBeth Moore, author of Believing God, asks, “Do you believe God or do you merely believe in Him? Do you take God at His Word, believing what He has told us, or do you just believe in His existence and the salvation He offers?”7

Some Christians believe parts of His Word have passed away and cannot be believed for today. However, God says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matt. 24:35), and Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Miracles seen in the Bible are the same for us today, if we believe. Jesus even tells us that if we believe, He will do greater miracles through us than He did while on earth (see John 14:12). Even He could do no mighty works because of unbelief in His hometown (see Matt. 13:58).

Before God spoke, “Let there be light,” He saw in His mind what He wanted the formless dark earth and water to be. He believed it would happen. The story of Lazarus drives home this point. After Jesus asked for the stone to be rolled away from Lazarus’ tomb, Martha, the sister of the dead man said, “By this time there is a bad odor, for he has been dead four days.” Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:39-40). Believing comes before seeing.

The “E” of the BEAR Facts of Faith

E – Expecting from the Word – Having Eyes on the Circumstances and on the Word at the Same Time is Impossible

Bear Facts of Faith
After we believe God has our answer, our hearts are filled with expectation. Until we expect to see something happen, we will not know when the answer comes.

Webster’s dictionary says, “Expect implies a high degree of certainty and usually involves the idea of preparing or envisioning.”8 It also implies hope, for “if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it” (Rom. 8:25).

The Greek word for “wait eagerly” in this verse means to expect, and to look for, which includes two elements: hope and patience. Once we have made a decision to believe a promise discovered in God’s Word, whether it is protection from a storm or an enemy, salvation for a friend or loved one, or to pay a bill, we have hope. From that point on, we enter into “earnest expectation” with patience, which from the Greek, implies “turning the head away from any distracting influence.”9

When Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, Moab and Ammon came to make war. Surrounded on all sides by a vast army, the Israelites came together to seek the Lord. The king encouraged the people, saying to the Lord, “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you” (2 Chron. 20:12).

Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, son of Zechariah, who said,

“This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them . . . . You will not have to fight in this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.'” 2 Chronicles 20:15-17

BEAR Facts of Faith

Keeping our eyes on the Lord means keeping our eyes in His Word. When we look at His Word, we are looking to Jesus who is the “Word made flesh.”10  Chapter one of this book established that the angel of the Lord who spoke to Hagar was Jesus. The first chapter of John says Jesus was the second person of the Trinity who spoke into existence everything that was made. “In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4).

The bottom line is this: when our eyes are not in the Word, we are not looking to Jesus. When we are not expecting from the Word, we are focused on the problem, or the circumstances, allowing fear, doubt and worry to overtake us. We cannot keep our eyes focused on the problematic situation and on the Lord at the same time. The word from our mouth, working in conjunction with His Word, opens the door for Him to fight those battles.

“Earnest expectation” that “turns the head from any distraction” assumes that once we have made a quality decision to trust God concerning a situation, we can expect opposition, harassment, trials and challenges. Words contradicting what we believe will come. That’s when we have to fix our heart and keep on believing, saying out loud, “[I] will have no fear of bad news; [my] heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord” (Ps. 112:7).

We can lay our requests before God each morning (see Ps. 5:3), but unless we expect something to happen, it’s unlikely we will see the result from exercising our faith.

The “A” of the BEAR Facts of Faith

A – Asking from the Word – Praying the Scripture, not the Problem

Bear Facts of Faith

The book of James tells us what to do when we have a problem. After we begin to believe God’s Word has a solution for every situation and embrace hopeful expectation for the answer, we need wisdom such as Jehoshaphat received through Jahaziel. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” Furthermore, he says, “You do not have, because you do not ask God” (James 4:2).

Jehoshaphat did this very thing. Alarmed, he resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for himself and all Judah. He praised the Lord, recounting the covenant promise to Abraham and God’s deliverances in the past. He put his faith in God’s ability, rather than his own, to take care of things in the present. He then spoke positive, believing words, “You will hear us and save us” (2 Chron. 20:9). He did not belabor the problem. God already knew it, and he knows ours, too.

Asking from the Word means praying the Scripture. His Word is His will. His Word contains the answer to any problem we could have. The more we take our words from God’s Word, the more we are looking to Jesus who fights for us. For God says, “. . . I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it” (Jer. 1:12 Amplified). Jesus himself defeated Satan during his forty days of temptation with Scripture. He tells us, “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life” (John 6:63).

Seeking God’s wisdom, and asking from His Word, involves hard work much like digging for hidden treasure, such as picking up acorns one by one like bears should naturally do. Furthermore, having God’s revealed wisdom and then doing something about it is a matter of life and death–to our marriages, children, cities and nation.

As we put voice to Scripture in the midst of our situation, the entrance of His Word gives light (see Ps. 119:130). When Chanté and her mother spoke Scripture over Kim, words of Light actually expelled the darkness from her. And, it all came through exercising the BEAR Facts of Faith.

Tomorrow we will put the “R” on our BEAR.

ENDNOTES

  1. Beth Moore, Believing God, (Broadman & Holman Publishers, Nashville, TN, 2004), back cover.
  2. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary-Eleventh Edition, (Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, Springfield, MA 2003), p. 439.
  3. Dick Mills, The Word Daily Devotional (Harrison House, Tulsa, OK, 1990), p. 320.
  4. See John 1:14.

 

 

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